Porsche presented the second generation of its Le Mans Prototype 919 Hybrid race car at the Paul Ricard circuit. Porsche also confirmed it will switch to the highest of the four energy categories in the LMP1 class. The performance of the energy recovery system was able to be increased by around one-third as compared to 2014. This means the 919 Hybrid is competitive to race in the 8-megajoule category.
Although the basic concept of the Class 1 Le Mans Prototype (LMP1) was retained in the second generation, virtually every component was refined. The 919 is equipped with a 2-litre V4 turbocharged petrol engine with an output of more than 500 hp, which powers the rear axle, and an electric motor with over 400 hp that drives the front wheels and gets its electricity from two energy-recovery systems. A liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery temporarily stores converted braking energy from the front axle as well as converted exhaust-gas energy.
The vehicle’s lower weight and improved overall rigidity, as well as optimizations made to the suspension and aerodynamics, improved the handling of the endurance racing car. Despite the significant weight reductions, key components are now more robust.
The 2015 WEC will kick off on April 12 in Silverstone (GBR). All of this seasons WEC races, with the exception of Le Mans, will have a duration of six hours. The championship will move to Spa (BEL) on May 2 and Le Mans (FRA) on June 13–14. The race at the Nürburgring (DEU) on August 30 is a new addition to the WEC, which will then leave Europe and head to Austin, Texas (USA) for a race on September 19. The next two races will be held in Fuji (JPN) on October 11 and Shanghai (CHN) on November 1. The finale will take place in Bahrain on November 21.